Things you didn’t know about Rocky

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Some movies are etched in the memory of movie-goers! It’s been nearly 40 years  and Rocky remains Sylvester Stallone’s best known film. The Philadelphia pugilist Rocky Balboa became an iconic role for millions of movie fans and it has been the same for its actor-creator, Sylvester Stallone as well.

It was played to perfection by Stallone who endeared himself to millions of people through his hard work, perseverance, and determination. His impact on moviegoers is so profound that the city of Philadelphia has a statue of their fictional sports hero. The 72 stone steps before the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, have become known as the ‘Rocky Steps.’ These steps are a character on its own and have appeared in the triple-Oscar-winning film Rocky and five of its sequels, Rocky II, III, V, Rocky Balboa and Creed. The eponymous character runs up the steps to the song ‘Gonna Fly Now’. Tourists often imitate Rocky’s famous climb which is considered a metaphor for an underdog or someone rising to a challenge. A bronze Rocky statue was briefly situated at the top of the steps for the filming of Rocky III and after the shoot the statue is at the bottom of the steps, which is now a popular photo opportunity for visitors.

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The genesis of this iconic scene is very different from what it has now become. Stallone recounted that the film crew shooting on a tight budget, identified the steps one night while searching for locations. Stallone first thought Rocky should carry his dog Butkus up the steps, but he proved too heavy for the scene to work. But the view from the top of the stairs inspired him to reshoot the scene without the dog.

“He is a man of the streets. But, he has deep emotion and spirituality and good patriotism. He has a good nature, although nature has not been particularly good to him.” – Sylvester Stallone

While its classic status in inarguable, how much do you know about the greatest boxing movie ever made? Found this bit of information interesting, read on to find out more.

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  • One of the most interesting Rocky facts was that Susan Sarandon auditioned for the role of Adrian and didn’t get the part. This had nothing to do with her acting skills. They thought she was too pretty for the role and the role finally went to Talia Shire.
  • When shooting the scenes in the meat-locker where he punches the slabs of beef, Stallone punched the meat so hard for so long that he flattened out his knuckles. To this day, when he makes a fist, his knuckles are completely flat.
  • Frank Stallone, Stallone’s father, has a cameo playing the man who rings the opening bell of the Creed vs. Balboa fight.
  • Sylvester’s younger brother, also has a cameo playing the lead singer of the street band.
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  • Rocky was the first sports movie to ever win an Academy Award for Best Picture.
  • Stallone wrote the first draft of the script in just three days. There were actually several rewrites to get to the version that was finally shot.
  • When United Artists offered to buy Stallone’s script they were not interested in him playing the lead, preferring instead to cast an established star like Ryan O’Neal, Robert Redford, James Caan or Burt Reynolds. Stallone insisted that he wouldn’t sell the script unless he played the title role. Finally UA relented but cut the proposed $2 million in half.
  • Rocky’s dog Butkus was actually Sylvester Stallone’s dog in real life.
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  • Stallone was inspired to write the movie after seeing unfancied boxer Chuck Wepner last fifteen rounds with Muhammad Ali at the Richfield Coliseum on March 24, 1975.
  • The two scenes in which Rocky runs up the stairs of the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum – once when he can’t do it and once when he, after much training, triumphantly can – were filmed two hours apart.
  • Before directing the film, John G. Avildsen had never watched a boxing match or a boxing movie.
  • The budget didn’t allow for a sufficiently large crowd to fill the arena in the final fight scene, so stock footage of sporting crowd scenes had to be used to fill out the editing. However, you can still see in some shots that some of the seats are empty.
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Best Screenplay Movies of All Time

What is a screenplay? Before we answer that, let us first decode what a screenplay is definitely not. It is neither a play and nor is it a novel. Unlike the writer writing for a novel who has complete freedom to explore any point of view, shift between conscious and subconscious mind, explore a character or a story from multiple perspectives, etc., the screenwriter should at all times write in the present tense and make sure that what is written is only what the audience can see and hear. A screenplay is visual and is a written work by screenwriters for a film, video game or television program.

And what makes a great screenplay?  From Casablanca to The Shawshank Redemption, the elements of a great script are essentially the same. Here is our list of the Top 25 Best Screenwriting Works. Take some time out and do watch these remarkable movies.

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  1. CASABLANCA
    Screenplay by Julius J. and Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch. Based on the play ‘Everybody Comes to Rick’s’ by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison.
  2. THE GODFATHER
    Screenplay by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola. Based on the novel by Mario Puzo.
  3. CHINATOWN
    Written by Robert Towne.
  4. CITIZEN KANE
    Written by Herman Mankiewicz and Orson Welles.
  5. ALL ABOUT EVE
    Screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Based on ‘The Wisdom of Eve’, a short story and radio play by Mary Orr.6annie-hall_blog
  6. ANNIE HALL
    Written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman.
  7. SUNSET BLVD.
    Written by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder and D.M. Marshman, Jr.
  8. NETWORK
    Written by Paddy Chayefsky.
  9. SOME LIKE IT HOT
    Screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond. Based on ‘Fanfare of Love’ a German film written by Robert Thoeren and M. Logan.
  10. THE GODFATHER II
    Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo. Based on Mario Puzo’s novel ‘The Godfather’.
  11. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID
    Written by William Goldman.12DrStrangelove_blog
  12. STRANGELOVE
    Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Peter George and Terry Southern. Based on novel ‘Red Alert’ by Peter George.
  13. THE GRADUATE
    Screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. Based on the novel by Charles Webb.
  14. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
    Screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. Based on the life and writings of Col. T.E. Lawrence.
  15. THE APARTMENT
    Written by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond.
  16. PULP FICTION
    Written by Quentin Tarantino. Stories by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary.
  17. TOOTSIE
    Screenplay by Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal. Story by Don McGuire and Larry Gelbart.
  18. ON THE WATERFRONT
    Screen Story and Screenplay by Budd Schulberg. Based on ‘Crime on the Waterfront’ articles by Malcolm Johnson.
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  19. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
    Screenplay by Horton Foote. Based on the novel by Harper Lee.
  20. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE
    Screenplay by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett and Frank Capra. Based on the short story ‘The Greatest Gift’ by Philip Van Doren Stern. Contributions to screenplay Michael Wilson and Jo Swerling.
  21. NORTH BY NORTHWEST
    Written by Ernest Lehman.
  22. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
    Screenplay by Frank Darabont. Based on the short story ‘Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption’ by Stephen King.
  23. GONE WITH THE WIND
    Screenplay by Sidney Howard. Based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell.
  24. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
    Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman. Story by Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry and Pierre Bismuth.
  25. THE WIZARD OF OZ
    Screenplay by Noel Langley and Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf Adaptation by Noel Langley. Based on the novel by L. Frank Baum.25the-wizard-of-oz_blog

This Valentine’s Day, just push play

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It’s Valentine’s Day and as much as you dislike all things mushy, your playlist should at least feature some songs that go with the theme of the day. You don’t have to go for the saccharine numbers; just push play on some contemporary and classic tunes.

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Ed Sheeran

Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran: This song by the 23-year old singer/songwriter rose to the No 1 position on the iTunes Download Chart in February ’15. The song is a part of Ed’s second album ‘X‘ and was released as a single in October ’14 with a music video showcasing the singer’s new-found dancing skills. The chorus is what makes it so special, which is why it is a perfect song to tune into this Valentine’s Day.

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Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor

Pareshaan, Shalmali Kholgade:A power-packed song from the film Ishaqzaade, Pareshaan propelled Shalmali to overnight stardom. The lyrics by Kausar Munir touch upon feelings of anxiety, impatience and longing; all emotions associated with ‘new love’. The song has a very young vibe to it which is why it was so popular among youngsters. Composed by the talented Amit Trivedi, this song is apt for youngsters venturing into the ‘abyss of love’.

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Elvis Presley

Can’t Help Falling In Love, Elvis Presley:  This melody, based on Plaisir d’amour (1784), a popular romance by Jean Paul Egide Martini (1741–1816) was featured in Elvis Presley’s 1961 film, Blue Hawaii. Over the years, this song has been re-recorded by many artistes, including British reggae group UB40, whose 1993 version topped the US and UK charts. This ballad is a classic and will make you swoon and soon after, you can’t help, falling in love with this tune.

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Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan (DDLJ)

Tujhe Dekha Toh Yeh Jaana Sanam, Lata Mangeshkar and Kumar Sanu: The list would not be complete without a Shah Rukh Khan number in it. This is the to-go song for anybody who wants to show their Valentine how special they are. Picturized on SRK and Kajol from the film, Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ), it defines the typical ‘Indian Romance’. Composed by Jatin Lalit, with lyrics by Anand Bakshi, there is something about this song that gives you goosebumps each time it is played.

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Christina Perri

A Thousand Years, Christina Perry:  During the summer of 2010, Christina Perri — a 23-year-old café waitress who’d been moonlighting as an unsigned songwriter — went from obscurity to the top of the Billboard charts in two short weeks. She is considered to be one of the best female songwriter/singer in the romance department. A Thousand Years featured in the romance-fiction movie, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. Quite a hit with the teenagers who loved the Twilight series.

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Rakhee and Dharmendra

Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas, Kishor Kumar: Possibly one of the greatest playback singers in the history of Indian cinema, Kishor Kumar has sung some soul stirring love songs. Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas, from the film Blackmail is one such evergreen song. What made the number even more beautiful was the way it was picturized – lyrics conveyed through letters. Definitely a must-have on your playlist.

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Aamir Khan

Pehla Nasha, Udit Narayan, Sadhana Sargam: Everyone who loves Hindi film music and otherwise, have found themselves drawn to this song. Pehla Nasha, featured in Jo Jeeta Who Hi Sikandar, talks about all emotions experienced when someone falls in love for the first time. It is that kind of song that will give you butterflies in your tummy!

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Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan (K3G)

Suraj Hua Maddham, Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik: Yet another beautiful song picturized on the Badshah of Romance – Shah Rukh Khan. Sung by Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik for the Karan Johar film, Kabhi Khushi Labhi Gham (K3G) this song is romance in all its glitzy glory. And with Bollywood’s most romantic pair, SRK and Kajol, burning up the screen, this one leaves a lasting impression.

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Amitabh Bachchan and Rakhee

Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein, Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar:  One of the finest songs to have come out of the Bollywood music factory – Kabhi Kabhi from the film of the same name, is poetic magic at its best. Mukesh’s vocals, Khayyam’s composition and Sahir Ludhanivi’s lyrics elevates it to another level. And to top it off, Amitabh Bachchan recites the opening verses in his famous baritone. How can you not listen to it on loop?

Siddharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra

Siddharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra

Ishq Bulava, Sanam: Rarely does one come across a song so sublime in modern-day Bollywood. But Sanam’s Ishq Bulava from Hasee Toh Phasse captures modern-day romanticism, and delivers it with an old world charm.